Endometrial ablation is a procedure that destroys the endometrial glands, or lining of the uterus, to reduce of stop a women's menstrual cycle (period.) For women with heavy, frequent, irregular or bothersome periods, this procedure offers an alternative to hysterectomy or the use of medications to control bleeding. The procedure can be performed in the office and recovery is very quick. Patients can return to most of their usual activities within a day or two. Endometrial ablation can also help decrease cramping during menses and reduce PMS symptoms.
After an ablation, more than 50% of patients will no longer have a menstrual cycle. Another 45 % will recognize a significant reduction in the amount and intensity of their cycle. Ninety-five percent of patients are happy with the results of an endometrial ablation and are happy they had it done.
Endometrial ablation techniques:
- Novasure - uses radiofrequency energy delivered through a device that is placed inside the uterus. The ablation cycle takes 1 - 2 minutes to complete and can be performed anytime of the month, even during the period. This is the most common technique used at Gynecologists of Reno.
- Hydrothermablator (HTA) - uses hot water to destroy the endometrium. A scope is placed into the uterine cavity and water is circulated throughout the cavity and heated up to near boiling temperature. The ablation cycle is 10 minutes and should be planned when the lining is the thinnest (after menses.)
- Thermachoice - is a balloon that is placed inside the uterus and heated up to destroy the lining. The ablation cycle is about 10 minutes. This should be planned when the lining is the thinnest (after menses.)
- Rollerball ablation - uses operative hysteroscopy to ablate the lining manually. A rollerball instrument is used to cauterize the endometrium strip by strip. The time to complete this type of ablation is variable because it is dependent on the size and contour of the uterus as well as the surgeon's ability to completely remove the lining manually.